– 23 –


The almost unbelievably loud, deep, booming voice sounded clearly above the six simultaneous gunshots. Just outside the door women’s screams, hysterical screams, were quickly drowned out by even louder, unified, menacing male voices:


And His Magnificence swaggered in, leading his chanting parade of about two dozen lieutenants. He strutted with the gait of a proud black man, resplendent in the gleaming white of his custom-tailored designer basketball uniform and the dull shine of the gold chains, gold rings, gold piercings and gold teeth that adorned his six-foot-plus frame.

Mackenzie started shaking. But she felt strangely, inexplicably detached. She seemed to watch herself from a distance, watch herself kneel down as she knew she must, kneel down with the rest of the women as His Magnificence approached.

As he strutted up the hall women, on their knees, moved back to give him room. His lieutenants took up another chant, just as loud, just as menacing:


Mackenzie caught a ferocious glare from one of his lieutenants, who raised his truncheon. She joined in:


A loud, crashing, splintering noise came from the stage, where 500 pounds of judicial majesty fainted, fell forward, smashed through the dais and spilled offstage.


Mackenzie shook, her hands and head moving wildly, uncontrollably, as she struggled desperately just to stay kneeling. She called out as loudly as her quaking voice allowed, as if her life depended on it, as if it was the only thing she could do to avoid getting seriously hurt:


Everyone was chanting now, everyone but Smith’s daughter who had resumed shrieking when the head flew off. Mackenzie saw a few women lying unconscious, having fainted or been smashed by truncheons.

Then she heard another woman’s voice, shaking with terror but rising above the noise.


It was the Minister for Marginalized Women.

This is too much, Mackenzie thought, it’s finally become too much. With all the courage she could muster she got to her feet and rushed towards Smith’s daughter, knocking into the Minister and the celebrity activist at the same time. Together they groped, struggled, fought to seize hold of the girl.

His Magnificence was already striding towards her. A half-dozen cops and court officers reached the girl, yanking at her arms and legs, now tightly wrapped around a pillar. More women stood up and ran over to help. Three or four pundits and a couple of singer/songwriter/guitar players pushed and pulled her shoulders and hips, a variety show co-host joined the women’s studies instructors tugging at her head and a professor of journalistic ethics grasped her right knee while an acclaimed Canadian novelist and one of Mississauga’s top DJs worked at each ankle. Desperate to break the child’s grip, Mackenzie grabbed her wrists and bit the girl’s fingers repeatedly, chewing right to the bone.

The mob grew as university chancellors, sitcom stars, CSIS agents, documentary filmmakers, rape relief counsellors, Juno award winners, immigration and refugee adjudicators, stand-up comics, truths and rights reconciliation co-ordinators, writers in residence, gender assignment consultants and a regional distributor of social licence grappled with each other to shove their way forward. Meanwhile an outer layer of Liberal, NDP, Bloc and Green MPs elbowed out the Conservatives trying to take part. But not even a human rights commissioner tearing the girl’s hair could detach her from the pillar. Finally Ontario’s Secretary of State in Charge of Smashing the Glass Ceiling squirmed into the crowd from behind, hooked her right arm around the girl’s neck and fastened a chokehold, pressing left hand against right wrist to tighten the vise and squeeze out circulation. Eyes bulging and face almost bursting red, Smith’s daughter instinctively let go of the pillar in a futile effort to free her neck.

Then her ankles came loose and they had her. With three or four sets of arms locked onto each of the girl’s limbs, the women handed the writhing, convulsing body to His Magnificence.

He wrapped his long, muscular arms right around her, tightly, pinning her face-first to his chest. Then, leering widely as his lieutenants fell back into procession behind him, he carried his still-struggling trophy out of the hall. This time His Magnificence himself began the chant:


Previous Page | Next Page
Pages 1 to 6
Pages 7 to 12
Pages 13 to 18
19 20 21 22 23 24
Pages 25 to 26